HAVANA TIMES, April 28 — This past Monday (April 23), Frank left Cuba and finally made it to Miami. He met his father there and will later go to New Jersey to spend some time with his mother, who’s anxiously waiting for him.
I went to see him off at the Jose Marti International Airport. I don’t like goodbyes, much less when I feel that I’m not going to see a friend for a long time or maybe even ever again.
We all know that it’s difficult to leave Cuba, not even when a Cuban has enough money do they have the freedom to buy a ticket to go anywhere in the world and leave to visit there.
Being in Cuba is like being in prison. One of the possibilities you have for leaving is if you have a relative abroad who is really interested and can provide help to somehow get you out.
Another option we have is to risk our life leaving by sea in poorly constructed rafts, an adventure that often ends in disappointment and disgrace.
Reaching United States soil this way is almost impossible. Many die in the attempt and others fail to land when they’re picked up by the US Coast Guard and deported back to the island.
While at the airport, Frank didn’t stop lighting one cigarette after another. He was nervous but very happy and hopeful. He knew that from now on he would have a new life.
He told me that he wanted to start working as soon as possible to become independent and earn money.
When I asked if we would see each other again he couldn’t answer. He stood there in silence. I hugged him twice before he left, and told him to take care of himself and not do anything stupid.
I watched him go into the restricted area for passengers and it made me a little sad to see how he became lost in the crowd. I left the airport and since then I haven’t stopped thinking about him.
Then I received an email from Frank. It read:
Arrived fine. My father picked me up. Don’t worry. They have everything here. You have to see for yourself. I’d really like for you to be here, but I know that’s difficult. I’ll write again when I have more time.